Documentary film “Dear Sirs” honors Rock Springs WWII American POW Silvio Pedri

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Rock Springs resident Mark Pedri with his grandfather Silvio Pedri in 2008. Mark was 20 at the time of this photo, Silvio was 87. (submitted photo)

September 16, 2021 — A couple of very special nights will be taking place next week at the Broadway Theater in Rock Springs. The film “Dear Sirs,” directed by Mark Pedri and produced by his wife Carrie McCarthy, will have two local screenings. “Dear Sirs” is a documentary film that honors and remembers the history of those who fought in WWII by retracing the journey of American POW Silvio Pedri of Rock Springs.

The documentary’s first local showing will be for the filmmaker’s family members on Thursday, September 23. A second screening will be for the general public on Saturday, September 25, at 5:30 p.m. The public screening is being hosted by the American Legion Archie Hay Post 24. The public screening is a free event with RSVP on Facebook to guarantee a seat. Otherwise, it will be first-come, first-served. The filmmakers are requesting those attending the public showing “wear masks in the theater to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 during this spike.”

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About the film “Dear Sirs”

According to a press release, growing up, filmmaker Mark Pedri never heard his grandfather’s story. Ten years after Silvo’s death, Pedri found an archive of old photos and letters that changed the rest of his life. The discovery inspired Pedri and McCarthy to bike over 500 miles across Europe, piecing together the route Pedri’s grandfather took in 1944. Pedri wanted to illuminate his grandfather’s experiences and better understand the man who helped raise him.

The film “Dear Sirs” centers around long-time Rock Springs resident and Silver Star recipient Silvio Pedri’s experience as a Prisoner of War. Silvio was captured by the German army in France during the Battle of Metz. He was marched and transported by cattle car to a number of camps across Germany during the winter of 1944-45.

A trailer for the film can be seen at dearsirsfilm.com.

This fall, the filmmakers will be touring with the film to show at festivals and community events around the world, as well as launching a national screening tour that will feature more events in partnership with other American Legion posts around the country. More information about the screening tour can be found at www.dearsirsfilm.com/screenings.

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About the filmmakers:

Mark Pedri is an expedition-based documentary filmmaker and writer from Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Carrie McCarthy, Ph.D., is a scientist turned producer who got her start working as a scientific film consultant while she worked as a materials chemist researcher at the University of Southern California.

Their business is Burning Torch Productions, an independent film production company that focuses on character-driven stories from the backcountry and backroads of the world. They produced films that have played at international festivals, on national PBS and on major streaming platforms.

This fall, the filmmakers will be touring “Dear Sirs” at festivals and community events around the world, as well as launching a national screening tour that will feature events in partnership with other American Legion posts around the country. More information about the screening tour can be found at www.dearsirsfilm.com/screenings.

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